Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Only 5 Percent of Organized Crime Murders Investigated in Mexico
According to a confidential report addressed by Mexico’s Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to the Senate and released through a freedom of information request to the El Universal National newspaper 95 percent of all deaths related to the war against drug trafficking go uninvestigated.
The document submitted to the Senate shows that from the beginning of the Calderon administration in December 2006 to April 2010 there were more than 22,000 deaths reported in this “war”.
The data in the report provided the following statistics. In December 2006 there were 62 deaths. The number of deaths rose to 2,837 deaths in 2007, in 2008 there were 6,844 deaths and 9,635 deaths in 2009. Between January and March this year there were 3,365 deaths.
According to the data there were only 1,200 preliminary investigations recorded from December 2006 to April 2010.
Analysts in Mexico lamented the findings in the report.
"The small number of homicides investigated by the PGR is a reflection of the inability to investigate these crimes," said Jorge Chabat, of the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE)
Guillermo Garduno Valero of the Autonomous Metropolitan University, said that “the data is absolute evidence of the inability to investigate all executions perpetrated by organized crime, and if we add up the shortcomings of investigators in the local jurisdictions it is not coincidence that only 5% of crimes come to be processed, the rest goes unpunished. "
The figures are a clear sign that the Mexican government’s law enforcement branches and prosecutors at the municipal, state and federal level have been overwhelmed by the reality of this war and are incapable of carrying out investigations whether through ineptitude or corruption or a lack of resources.
What these figures also reflect is that the powerful drug cartels run their criminal operations with a high degree of impunity and that Mexico’s civilian population in the areas with a high level of conflict is largely unprotected by law enforcement.
This report also puts into serious doubt the view held by President Calderon that 90 percent of the 23,000 deaths that have occurred in this war to date are of criminals killed in cartel on cartel violence. There is no credible basis for this view if there is no data from investigations to support it.
This means that a much higher percentage of these 23,000 deaths may be of civilians murdered by the drug cartels or killed in military and police operations.